Service Array:
Individual Skill Development and Enhancement

My name is Nivaya Lambert. I grew up in Eau Claire, WI in a single parent household. My mom always worked hard to provide for my brother and me. My mom was a special education assistant and has always taught me to love everyone no matter what their differences. From a very young age I knew that I wanted to help people from all walks of life. But it wasn’t until I faced some adversity in my life that taught me the coping skills I have now.

In elementary school I was diagnosed with Attention-deficit disorder. This made my education life very difficult. I was always very advanced in my classes and loved being at school. However, concentrating on any assignments or sitting still during class was beyond difficult for me. I had to find many coping mechanisms in middle school and high school to help me achieve the grades I was capable of.

In December of 2014, my biological father passed away unexpectedly. Although I didn’t know him or have a relationship with my father, knowing that he was gone was incredibly difficult for me. I knew I would never have the same experiences with my biological father that my friends would have. I became depressed. I was then diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I knew it ran in my family, but I knew nothing about how to cope or what to do. I attempted to go to therapy and although it helped, I chose to stop going because I saw therapy as a negative and that my friends would think I was weird.

I began to turn to the worst version of myself. I became a person that looking back I never wanted to be. My depression took a big toll on a lot of my relationships with others, as well as my grades in school. I went from an A-B student to a C-D student very quickly. I found coping mechanisms that helped bring my grades back up.

In October of 2018 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This year became one of the most difficult years of my life. I had to balance my schoolwork with making sure my mom was okay. It took a huge mental toll on me, and I began to fall into a dark place. But I knew that the one thing in life I needed to do was stay strong for my mom. So, I began to find new ways to cope with the stressors in my life. And I wanted to place myself on a better track.

Over the years I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not what happens to us that determines who we are or who we are meant to be, but it’s how we choose to react and change. Everything I’ve been through in my life has only brought me closer to the fact that my passion in life has always been helping others and being an open door to people in need of some compassion and love.